Tag Archives: Amanda Ong

Community Land Conservancy Sees a Green Future for Communities of Color

by Amanda Ong


This Oct. 20, 2021, was the kickoff event of the Community Land Conservancy (CLC), a BIPOC-led land conservancy that acquires land for parks in historically underserved communities so that community voices are heard and centered in land use decision-making. The CLC has been in the works for over three years, since 2018 when the King County Open Space Equity Cabinet made new goals for property acquisitions in historically underserved communities. The Open Space Equity Cabinet hoped to meet these goals by partnering with and compensating relevant community groups to advise on the code and policy changes necessary. Thus, the CLC went into development and today comprises one full-time staff member and five advisory committee members. 

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OPINION: Spirit Returns 2.0 — Finding Solidarity at the Duwamish Longhouse

by Amanda Ong


“We were second-class citizens in our own land,” my grandfather used to tell me, perhaps the only time I saw him with a hint of a scowl. Our land then was Hong Kong, where Chinese residents were under British control for 100 years. As the original inhabitants of Hong Kong were Punti, Hakka, Tanka, and Hokkien, the island has always been ethnically Chinese. My grandfather seldom spoke about the marginalization my family experienced during their time in Hong Kong as a British colony and when he did, he was brief. When my mother was a child in the 1960s, our family made the decision to leave Hong Kong to be second-class citizens in another land, hoping for something called “opportunity.” 

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CALM Launches Medic Hotline to Provide Community Health Navigation

by Amanda Ong


Community Action for Liberation Medics (CALM) is a street medic collective that has been in our streets since the summer of 2020, following George Floyd’s murder and the subsequent uprising. This October, CALM established a street medic hotline through which the community can contact them. The goal of the hotline is to support the extended community with medical and psychiatric decision-making.

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OPINION: For South Seattle on Human Rights Day

by Amanda Ong


This Friday is Human Rights Day — the international celebration of the United Nations General Assembly’s proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Dec. 10, 1948. The declaration has been recognized as the first international delineation of standards for the protection of fundamental human rights, including freedom, justice, equity, education, and standard of living. It has since been foundational to more than 70 human rights treaties and is the most translated declaration in the world, having been translated into over 500 languages

But not only do few of us celebrate this date, but many of us have also never read or really considered the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These kinds of charters and declarations might make human rights feel academic and abstract, but really “human rights” reflect simple values that we can, and should, live every day. 

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Skyway Community Leader Awarded MLK Jr. Medal for Service

by Amanda Ong


For Cherryl Jackson-Williams, becoming involved in community advocacy was second nature. “We call my mother and father the Malcolm X and Martin Luther King combo,” Cherryl said in an interview with the South Seattle Emerald. “My mother is very flower-child … my dad, is like ‘Burn it down if we can’t make it work.’” 

So it could not be more fitting that this year on Nov. 2, King County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay awarded Cherryl the Martin Luther King  Medal of Distinguished Service

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CID Saturday Food Walk Features Small Businesses and Delicious Eats

by Amanda Ong


This Saturday, Nov. 27, is the annual Chinatown-International District (CID) Small Business Saturday Food Walk. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., you can visit a variety of small CID businesses to find offerings from retail to food, with each participating with a selection of treats for only $6. The CID Food Walk features items for dozens of CID businesses — from egg rolls and hum bao at ChuMinh Tofu Vegan Deli to cream puffs at Beard Papa’s and discounted merchandise at the Wing Luke Museum

The Small Business Saturday Food Walk is an event held by the Chinatown-International District Business Improvement Association (CIDBIA), a nonprofit organization based in the CID that does work in public safety, sanitation, marketing, communications, neighborhood events, and advocacy. It is one of 10 Business Improvement Associations throughout the city. During the event, the CIDBIA will be hosting a table at Hing Hay Park where you can ask questions, find recommendations, and receive a bag of small goodies. 

“It’s a really good opportunity to just highlight collectively the entire neighborhood, and call out to all the great things that we have besides just a certain cuisine of food,” said Connie Au-Yeung, communications and marketing manager at CIDBIA, in an interview with the South Seattle Emerald. “There’s drinks, and there’s different pastries and retail items, and a really great variety within Chinatown, Japantown, Little Saigon.”

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Estelita’s Library Turns the Page on a New Chapter in the Central District

by Amanda Ong


This past Saturday, Nov. 13, was the grand opening of Estelita’s Library’s new location in the Central District (CD). The justice-focused community library opened in 2018 in Beacon Hill, but their brand new space in the CD represents an exciting new chapter for the library and the community. This move has been months in the making.

“We own this space now,” said cofounder Edwin Lindo in an interview with the Emerald. “And that’s a powerful place to be in for the community. To not be displaced.” Lindo previously rented the Beacon Hill location with his cofounder and wife, Dr. Estell Williams.

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Free Maddesyn George: Native Mother and Survivor Faces Hearing

by Amanda Ong


In July of 2020, Maddesyn George, a 27-year-old Native mother and member of the Colville Confederated Tribes in Eastern Washington, was raped by a white man named Kristopher Graber. George had considered Graber a friend, but after refusing to let her leave his home, he allegedly assaulted her while taunting her with a gun. George fled the scene with Graber’s gun, a sugar-packet amount of methamphetamine, and some of his other possessions. The next morning, Graber came looking for George on the Colville Reservation in northeastern Washington. In front of several witnesses, Graber then attacked George. Terrified, she shot him with his gun. Graber died instantly. 

This Wednesday, Nov. 17, is George’s sentencing hearing. She is being charged with voluntary manslaughter and drug possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. She will be heard by the U.S. District Court in Spokane. Because the shooting occurred on a reservation and falls under the Major Crimes Act, a law that dictates that certain crimes committed by Native people on Native territory fall under federal jurisdiction, George is being prosecuted on the federal level by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington. 

According to George’s attorney, Steve Graham, George has already accepted a plea deal to avoid up to 45 years in prison. However, she still faces up to 17 years in federal prison in California, over 1,000 miles away from her 20-month-old daughter, Shynne. This potential sentence is despite federal advisory guidelines suggesting less than 11 years.

“She’s a very strong person, she doesn’t let people walk over her,” George’s mother, Jody George, said in an interview with the Emerald. “She knows you got to stick up for yourself, nobody else is gonna do it. And I know my mom raised me that way. And we’ve got all sisters and my grandma had all sisters and it’s a strong family of women. That is what we’ve come from, and she’s all about family.” 

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24-Hour Asian American Play Festival Aims to Diversify Asian Stories in Theatre

by Amanda Ong


The oldest Asian American theatre group in the Pacific Northwest will put on a 24-hour play festival this Saturday, Nov. 13. Pork Filled ProductionsResilience! An AAPI 24-Hour Play Festival will showcase seven 10-minute plays, conceived, written, rehearsed, and performed all within 24 hours. Each play will be put on by a team of distinguished Asian American writers, directors, and actors. The online production will be livestreamed on Youtube

Pork Filled Productions was founded in Seattle in 1998 as an Asian American sketch comedy group dedicated to blending community activism with theatre. While their genres have expanded in years since to include science fiction, noir, fantasy, steampunk, and more, they have continued their mission to imagine fantastical universes informed by diverse perspectives. 

Resilience! was conceived by senior producer Kendall Uyeji in response to the surge of Asian hate crimes and the #StopAsianHate movement in the spring of 2021, particularly after the shooting of six massage parlor workers in Atlanta, Georgia.

Uyeji said he felt he wanted to do something to help raise the profile of the movement. “We want to write about the now,” he told the Emerald. “And the best way to write about the now is to literally have [playwrights] write the night of and then produce it the next day.”

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Where to Celebrate Diá de los Muertos in the South End and Beyond

by Amanda Ong


Día de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, is a Mexican and Latinx holiday honoring those who have passed through celebration, dance, offerings, art, and food. Just following Halloween, Día de los Muertos is celebrated on Nov. 1 and Nov. 2. It is a joyful celebration and remembrance of family and friends who have died. Scenes of colorful flowers and dresses, skeleton painted faces, and decorated altars are all hallmarks of this holiday. 

This year, we rounded up an assortment of events in Seattle,  South King County, and beyond. Be sure to check them out for days of celebration, rich cultural traditions, and more. If we missed an event and you would like us to add it, please fill out our event form here.

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